GM Says 100-Mile Battery Range Key Tipping Point for EVs
November 14, 2012
by James M. Amend
The first auto maker to break the 100-mile (161-km) range on batteries for electrified vehicles will dominate a market segment where costs are keeping a lid on sales volumes, General Motors product-development chief Mary Barra says.
Auto makers worldwide intend to make EVs an important part of their go-to-market strategy because of ever-tightening global fuel-economy and carbon-dioxide emissions standards. Rising fuel prices and growing environmental sensibilities among consumers also are pulling the technology into the market.
But the cost of battery technology powering electrified cars makes them a tough sell to most buyers, because it adds thousands of dollars to the sticker price.
The Chevrolet Volts lithium-ion battery powering it to roughly 40 miles (64 km) of range adds between $8,000 and $10,000 to the cost of the $40,000 compact car. The Volt, launched in 2011, was expected to sell 10,000 units its first year in the U.S. market, but did not reach that point until earlier this year.
GM has not announced range or pricing for the Spark EV, which it expects will travel distances at the upper range of its competition.
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